The Clock Tower: The Arrowverse Broke A Lot Of Hearts And Took A Lot Of Lives This Week

(Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we'll break down the goings on of the The CW network's Arrowverse. We'll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every other week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.) And we're back! A whole world has been decimated since we last took a look at the Arrowverse, so buckle in boys and girls! The Flash is playing with death, Supergirl's trying to save the sanctity of journalism, Batwoman's found her identity and Arrow just wants to keep as many people alive as possible. All of our heroes have had a rough couple of weeks and this whole Crisis situation is just getting started! 

The Beginning of the End

Since it didn't premiere with the rest of the gang, Arrow gets its own section. Feels appropriate, all things considered. Still bittersweet though. There have been two episodes since the last Clock Tower, and both of them swung for the fences. While both were tests from The Monitor, each managed to be unique in its own way. Oliver's first task was to obtain dwarf star particles without interfering in the events of a second Undertaking. Since everything seems to be utterly backwards on Earth 2, this Undertaking's lead by a different Dark Archer—Tommy Merlyn. Though The Green Arrow successfully saves his best friend and gathers the material as The Monitor requested, he's unable to stop the entirety of Earth 2 from being wiped from existence. After the decimation of Earth 2, The Monitor doubles down on his insistence that Oliver not become entangled in "trivial" events and follow his orders. This time he has to find one Robert Wong. Which he does! But he's no longer sure that The Monitor can be trusted. We'll go more into the familiar faces we've already seen this season a little later. For now, let's all take a moment to acknowledge that Stephen Amell is acting his butt of in his final season as The Green Arrow. Dude's always brought his A game, but he obviously knows that he's about to say goodbye to this universe.

So Long, Farewell… 

Lots of people are gonna die (it's sad to see, I cannot tell a lie...). Some folks are handling this information better than others. Strangely, it's the folks who are probably legit going to say goodbye for a moment that are doing okay. The Flash focused a lot on death this week, with Barry and Iris both sharing that much of the team could die in the impending Crisis, and the fact that if he doesn't, they're all going to die instead. Frost, who's just now learning to live, doesn't take this news very well.  Thankfully, her upset results in a strong bonding episode between her and Barry that ultimately ends with a hilarious party that perfectly embodies the spirit of The Flash. 

Who is the Batman? 

Honestly? Who cares? In last week's Clock Tower, I mentioned some annoyance at the reliance on Bruce's legacy.  While it will undoubtedly remain a theme throughout the series, it's nice to see Kate finding an identity of her own in "Down, Down, Down". She's not Batman, but that's okay. Batman's left, she hasn't, and Gotham needs a hero. Especially if villains like Hush are just going to drop in all willy nilly! Tommy Elliot's freedom was brief, but Alice will remain a frightening player on Kate's proverbial chess board for some time. 

Hello, Old Friend

As the series draws to a close, we'll continue to see more and more familiar faces on Arrow. Tommy and Malcolm Merlyn, Moira Queen, and the other doppelgängers of Earth 2 were just the tip of the iceberg. This week's episode brought back both Katana and China White, showing that the writing team's ready to get as many folks in as possible to say their goodbyes. It's incredibly difficult to do that while still making sure nothing feels shoehorned in, but they've pulled it off so far! 

Goodbye, Old Friend

Goodbyes suck, so we're going to call James Olson's exit a "see you later". To be fair, I'm not just electing to do so to make myself feel better. As Mehcad Brooks runs off to make a new Mortal Kombat, James had to be taken off the board on Supergirl. Both he and his sister Kelly had to say goodbye after she found herself entangled in the drama between J'onn J'onzz and his estranged brother Ma'alefa'ak. While Brooks has other projects running currently, the showrunners have already said that he's welcome back on the show whenever he's ready. I get the sense we'll be seeing James and Kelly again soon enough. Or at least I hope so for Alex's sake.

Parallel Earths with Parallel Games

We're talking a lot about Arrow this week, but we're running out of time to do so. Letting Oliver save Tommy in the same way Tommy ultimately saved him back in the day of the show ended up being way more moving than expected. It's difficult to shoehorn an entire season worth of plot into a forty minute episode, but they mostly managed to pull it off. Flipping the script on Adrian Chase, Dinah Drake and Rene Ramirez also somehow managed to be much more fun than anticipated? What I'm saying here is that the Arrow writer's room gets gold stars all around for season eight so far. 

I Will Go Down with This Ship

There are a surprising lack of relationships going on in the Arrowverse right now, but there are two clear favorites kicking things off early. Brainiac 5 and Nia Nal's ship is so complicatedly cute and has been handled surprisingly well. After weeks of frustration, Nia finally asked for Brainy to chill it out a bit, but that's just not how he works. Brainy acknowledges both of their needs before he leaves, and we'll just have to wait until next week to figure out what the future has in store for these two cuties. Kate Kane and new beaux Reagan kicked off this week as well, and not a moment too soon. I'm about to be sent off to purist jail, but Kate Kane has always deserved better than Sophie Moore. With Maggie Sawyer already in play in the Arrowverse, I'm perfectly happy to see Kate play the field for a while. Reagan is whip smart and cute as a button, and I hope she sticks around for a while! 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

It's possible that these early episodes before Crisis on Infinite Earths will start to get a little filler-y, particularly on shows that don't see a lot of visits from The Monitor. With that in mind, sometimes filler episodes can be the best opportunity for character development. We know Oliver's going to break some rules to try to get to the bottom of who The Monitor really is, and Barry's going to continue to try his damndest to prepare his team for the death that's not coming (at least not for him). Kara and Kate will likely remain more separated from the Crisis lead-ins, but we could be surprised!